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Monday, May 31, 2010

Our voles are just too cute!






Rodents are rodents? No, definitely not, I have promised to stand in the way of anybody trying to disturb the bush where my nearest little voles live. They live in dense thorny bushes where they make tunnels. These bushes are part of the original fynbos of the West Coast, and not something we planted here. Of course these clever animals think ahead and love multiple exits. Strangely enough the little Cape Robins seem to share these tunnels with them, as they are in and out, "visiting" or maybe "boarding" as there are no trees for birds on the coast. Something else I have noticed about these "buildings": like the ancients in Crete and Athens, the entrances of the abodes face East!

Voles are extremely shy and will not enter the house. I have the greatest problem taking photographs. They love sitting in front of their tunnels in the winter morning sun, but scatter if you as much as pass by a window inside. A vole is stouter in body than a mouse and also much larger. Voles have shorter tails and bigger ears. I am sure Beatrix Potter would have been enchanted to see them and would have made up little characters!

I needed depth for this painting and painted the background in watercolour over which I then glazed a layer of thinned down white acrylic. The vole and foreground was done in acrylics.

16 comments:

  1. Hey Marie!!! I love your painting!!
    I'm really not a big fan of rodents but your painting makes them look adorable!!

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  2. Your vole is absolutely enchanting! Exactly like Beatrix Potter would have painted him if she'd had some suitable fynbos near the briar patch.

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  4. Hello Marie! I'm excited about your love of nature. Also, you write beautifully about it. As seen in the paintings that has been done with great love. They are beautiful.

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  5. yes Marie...you make the little guy adorable. The only vole I saw up close was in New Jersey when my dog brought it to me...we lived in a rural area and somehow th e poor thing fell victim I think of a heart attack...he wasn't disturbed otherwise!!!

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  6. Ah Marie, he is just so cute! A really lovely work of art and a great series of pics to go with your story of them. And I also love your Oyster Catchers. They are such incredible birds and you got them perfectly.

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  7. Thank you, Manon. At least these voles eat grass and flowers and do not steal human food! My greatest frustration is not being able to capture one on camera while holding a purple bunch of flowers in those tiny "hands"!

    I'm glad you see the little thing like I do, Charlene!

    Thank you, JB, I now live in a place where I am happiest, surrounded by raw nature!

    Cathyann, they are so nervous! Heart attack sounds like a possibility!

    Thank you, Liz! I am looking at everything close to home now. You must visit so I can take you to observe the tobies (oystercatchers)!

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  8. Now I know what a vole looks like! They are indeed cute, Marie, and even remind me a wee bit of a bunny. (On thinking on it, bunnies are rather rodent-like themselves, aren't they?) I love how you've handled the painting and in attaining the depth you were seeking. It is so lovely!

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  9. The series of pictures tell a little story and compliment the cute little guy, you are so lucky to live in such a lovely surrounding.. a lot of food for your thoughts and paintings, isnt it?

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  10. Sherry, as ever, my appreciation for the time you take to absorb what I meant to do! So much have happened since I painted it three days ago......to be revealed in good time!

    Padmaja, Welcome! Yes, I am very inspired by where I live and must always look around to find the next post!

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  11. Oh, what a precious little guy! He looks so cozy surrounded by the soft brush. Great job on those sparkly eyes.

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  12. The colors are lovely in your painting, which makes the vole look so cute - as it is in the photo too. I can understand you wanting to protect them. Nice photos to illustrate how they live. It was a very interesting read.
    Jean

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  13. This painting is enchanting! I love the bush and foliage surrrounding him. It appears sparkly.

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  14. 一沙一世界,一花一天堂,掌中握無限,剎那即永恆..................................................

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  15. Thank you, Gwen, yes they are all eyes!

    Jean, I always think that in the UK there are still planted hedges which is good for these little ones. Everywhere else the bushes become fewer until there is nowhere for them to nest.

    Thank you, Linda! I suppose the sun fell in the right way!

    The Chinese translation reads: "One grain of sand in the world, a paradise flowers, palm grip infinite, eternal moment .... " Thank you, it sounds poetic!

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  16. My oge streel oor die houtstomp met jou naam en ek voel die knusheid van die bos (dieselfde kleur as my verjaardagtrui van Meisiekind) om jou pragtige karaktertjie vou. Marie ek lief die pad wat jou kwas en verf ons neem om die toneel te geniet. Fyn beplan en perfekte resultate. Telkens het my oog met die boog van die takkie en blare weer teruggedwaal om 'n koesterende sirkelgang te ervaar ... om en om die bos so fyn geweef, nes die steke in my trui!

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